safest for all crime

brooklyn heights, boerum hill & dumbo

Photo: Tiphanie Colon-Lamontanaro

84th precinct / population 48,196

Brooklyn Heights boasts of being America's first suburb, where bankers and merchants sought a leafy refuge minutes away from the skyscrapers across the East River.

In recent years, new residents have flooded into the neighborhood, pushing up home prices and bringing more life into the somewhat staid streets, many of which are quaintly named after fruits. The brownstones in Boerum Hill, the lofts and converted warehouse spaces in DUMBO and the restaurant row on Smith Street have all attracted newcomers to the area.

But for all of its reputation as a haven for families, the Heights ranks a lowly 60th out of 69 neighborhoods for per capita crime in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, with 205 major crimes per 10,000 residents. That's worse than several notoriously crime-ridden neighborhoods, including East New York. Its violent crime ranking is 49th of 69, with 63 violent crimes per 10,000 residents. The neighborhood's property crime ranking is a woeful 62nd, with 142 of these crimes per 10,000 residents.

The 2010 census has the neighborhood identifying itself as 69 percent white, 15 percent black/African-American, 13 percent Hispanic and 11 percent Asian (Hispanic percentages include people who also identify as black or white).

In an unsettling sign, there were three murders in 2010, compared with one in 2009. Robbery was up 20 percent, rising from 153 instances in 2009 to 184 in 2010. And burglaries jumped 6 percent, from 112 to 119.

But the picture isn't totally bleak. Those increases last year were offset by declines in felony assaults, grand larcenies and car thefts. As a result, there were fewer than 1,000 serious crimes reported to the police in 2010, leaving the area's overall major crime rate virtually unchanged from 2009 to 2010. And total major crime was down a healthy 78 percent from 1993 to 2010, led by 86 percent declines in robbery and burglary and by a 93 percent drop in car theft.